Boys to Men:
Transforming the Boy Crisis into a Boy Opportunity
College of Education and Human Services
Dean's Lecture Series presents:
Dr. Warren Farrell
Friday, September 9, 2011
4:00 - 6:00pm UH 1060
In the past, societies that survived did so by socializing their sons to be disposable—in war and at work. They socialized boys to risk their lives by methods such as honoring those boys who took the greatest risks as “heroes”—and sanctioning heroes as the most eligible for sex, love, marriage and fathering. Questioning this means reexamining our parenting, our values, our teaching, our investment in male disposability, and thus every education and human services discipline. For example:
Mental Health- Why boys’ suicide rate goes from equal to girls to five times girls’ as boys adapt to the masculine role. How our sons’ mental health is defined differently if heroism is to include a willingness to be disposable than it will be if our sons’ health is a top priority. Why our sons are about a half-century behind our daughters psychologically. The impact of fathering on our sons’ psychological development as boys, and on their mental health as adults.
Education-As our schools focused their binoculars for a half century on girls’ education, what did they miss about boys’ education? Why understanding our sons—and daughters—requires a multi-disciplinary approach broader than the social sciences. What our schools need to do to prepare our sons for a future of changes in “men’s work” and to be successful in what is now usually “women’s work.”
Gender Studies- How the full integration of genuine boys and men’s issues into gender studies can reinvigorate gender studies as a vibrant leader in the university curriculum. Why this means less focus on ideology and more on a holistic comprehension of the challenges of a transition from both sexes’ rigid roles of the past to both sexes’ need for more flexible roles for our future (a “gender transition movement”). Why this will require a rigorous understanding of all disciplines, and openness to all ideologies.
Economics/Business/Finance--How our sons’ economic role will be altered both by young men’s desire to become more-involved dads and by young mothers’ ambivalence about being more involved in the workplace. What changes in business need to be made for businesses to attract the best men (and women)? Redefining “best men.” Which solutions to the gender pay gap and “glass ceilings” can be found in family roles and economics? What trade-offs will such solutions involve? When and how should business help?
Science/Biology/Medicine- How boys and girls’ brains differ even in the womb. When aspects of boys’ brains are adaptive to the past but not the future, what can we do, and what should we do? When should schools and parents adapt to boys’ nature; when should schools and parents help boys adapt to a more functional future? Why research in neuroplasticity and the brain’s RCZ (rostral cingulate zone) helps us see that nature vs. nurture is a false dichotomy. Why American males died only one year sooner than females in 1920, but die five years sooner today.
Sociology-In the past, boys without a high school education could work in construction, agriculture and manufacturing; how do we prepare these boys for industries that will be growing rather than shrinking? What is the power of father involvement in boys’ economic and social mobility, personal happiness, and social competence?
Political Science/Law- The 14th Amendment’s “Equal Protection” clause would presumably require either both sexes to register for the draft or neither sex. Does the male-only requirement violate the 14th Amendment? Why is this discussion not even on our nation’s radar? Similarly, are boy and girl children of divorce prevented from seeing their dads? If so, are these boys becoming afraid of marriage for fear that divorce would mean their also “losing” their children? What is the impact on our sons who know they are the gender to die a half decade sooner even as there are seven federal offices of women’s health and no offices of men’s health?
Dr. Warren Farrell graduated from Montclair State University in 1965. He has since been chosen by the Financial Times as one of the world’s top 100 thought leaders, and by the Center for World Spirituality (in 2011) as one of the world's spiritual leaders. His books are published in over 50 countries, and in 15 languages. They include two award-winning international best-sellers, Why Men Are The Way They Are plus The Myth of Male Power. Dr. Farrell is currently the Chair of the Commission to Create a White House Council on Boys to Men, and is co-authoring Boys to Men with John Gray (Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus).
Dr. Farrell’s books contribute to 12 disciplines. A book on couples communication, Women Can't Hear What Men Don't Say, was a selection of the Book-of-the Month Club. His Father and Child Reunion has inspired many dads to be more involved with their children. And Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap--and What Women Can Do About It was chosen by U.S. News and World Report in 2006 as one of the top four books on careers.
Dr. Farrell has taught at the university level in five disciplines, and appeared on more than 1,000 TV and radio shows, from Oprah to Larry King Live. He has been featured repeatedly in Forbes, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. He has two daughters, and lives with his wife in Mill Valley, California, and virtually at www.warrenfarrell.com.
University Hall - Room:1060
September 9, 2011 - 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm